For 30 Years the Best of Buddhism in America: Meditation

January 2010

If any one thing defines the Shambhala Sun it is the practice of meditation. Meditation is the path by which we all might awaken to the true nature of mind and bring wisdom and compassion into our lives. And so we conclude our 30th anniversary series with a selection of great meditation teachings from the pages of the Sun.

The following articles are excerpted in our January 2010 issue. Here you can read them in their complete, original forms. Just click any article’s title to start reading now.

Returning Home

Thich Nhat Hanh offers a guided meditation to relax our body and mind and return to the here and now. Fully present, fully alive, we find we are already home.

Mindfulness, Compassion, and Wisdom: Three Means to Peace

Joseph Goldstein on how three principles of meditation can be applied to the world’s conflicts. The method is mindfulness, the expression is compassion, and the essence is wisdom.

How to Do Mindfulness Meditation

“Mindfulness practice is simple and completely feasible,” says Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. “Just by sitting and doing nothing, we are doing a tremendous amount.”

Mahamudra and Dzogchen: Thought-Free Wakefulness

The ability to dissolve thoughts is essential to attaining liberation, says renowned Dzogchen teacher Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche. Devotion and Pure Perception are two principles that lie at the root of Vajrayana practice that lead beyond confusion to thought-free wakefulness.

Riding the Crest of the Wave

“In subtle and in more obvious ways, the experience of birth and death is continuous,” says Judy Lief. “All that we experience arises fresh, appears for a time, and then dissolves. It is as if we were riding the crest of a wave in the middle of a vast ocean. That arising and falling of experience is our life; it is what we have to work with.”

Yoga Body, Buddha Mind

A complete spiritual practice—or even just a healthy, satisfying life—requires working with both body and mind. Cyndi Lee and David Nichtern explain why yoga practice and Buddhist meditation is the perfect mind-body combination.

The Power of Positive Karma

Rebirth and karma are the Buddhist beliefs that Westerners find hardest to accept. Yet are they really so foreign to us? If we look at our own experience, we find that thoughts, emotions, and self-images are continually arising, ending, and being reborn. We see that the seeds we plant in our consciousness in one moment will determine what we experience in the next. This is also what we experience as we go from lifetime to lifetime. Therefore, says Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, we should be concerned above all else with creating positive karma to lay the ground for our future enlightenment.

Beyond Present, Past, and Future is The Fourth Moment

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche on meditation, the spiritual path, and a sense of basic being beyond relative time

Going Nowhere

The Zen practice of just sitting, says Lewis Richmond, doesn’t help us to reach our destination. It allows us to stop having one. But how do you “go” nowhere?